Author: Stanislaw Lem (novel)
Director: Steven Soderbergh
I wondered why anyone in Hollywood thought this big budget big star production would make money: after all, this is a Thinking Story, not an action sci-fi flick. The answer is that the screenwriter (Soderbergh) turned this into a Hollywood movie by changing much of what made the story so unusual. “Loosely adapted from the book” is what the film should have had in its credits. Soderbergh even gave it a happy ending! However, this only pisses off fans of the original Russian classic or the novel: people who know nothing about Solaris will find this movie pleasant and entertaining. To us others, beware: it’s not a bad film, just lighter and less important than it should be.